Ecclesial Movements: a new springtime for the Church
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Ecclesial Movements: a new springtime for the Church

"The movements and new communities, providential expressions of the new springtime brought forth by the Spirit with the Second Vatican Council, announce the power of God's love which in overcoming divisions and barriers of every kind, renews the face of the earth to build the civilization of love". This is how John Paul II, in the homily of the Mass for Pentecost, Sunday 31st May, blessed the representatives of the more than 50 ecclesial Movements who had gathered in Rome for their first World Congress, participating afterwards, on the eve of Pentecost, at a prayer Vigil with the Pope which was attended by at least 280,000 people. From the Council, of which many Movements are the blessed fruit, to the Great Jubilee, in which they all bear "common witness" together, the life of Movements is summarized in the Pope's warm invitation to build the "new stage" of "ecclesial maturity", in which "the Church expects from you "mature fruits" of communion and commitment".

During the Pentecost Vigil, before John Paul II's intervention, the testimonies of Movements were brought by Chiara Lubich, foundress of the Focolare Movement, Kiko Arguello of the Neocatechumenal Way, Jean Vanier, founder of the Arche, and by Mgr. Luigi Guissani, founder of Communion and Liberation.